Category Archives: Post-match thoughts

Critical analysis of the previous game…passionate writing at its best…

Arsenal Escape Norwich Fiasco | Bould To Be Wenger’s No 2 | New Kit Launched

Morning to you all from wherever you are, first off I’d like to apologize for not providing any post match reports or player ratings for the Norwich game for the obvious reasons. Reasons such as how inept we are as a team and how we lack ambition and how the team never ends the season well despite this being our easiest run in in years. Please don’t say we were denied penalties, we were awful, the midfield non-existent and Vermaelen, Gibbs & Szczesny were all piss poor. BUT

For whatever reason, Lady Luck smiled on us the following day as our rivals for the 3rd spot both dropped points meaning our destiny is back in our own hands and we must play the game of our lives on the final day of the season and get the 3 points. As someone said, he’ll get Ian Wright & Tony Adams to deliver team talk before the game & at half time.

We’ll come back to how our team is a very poor one and how no one else but Arsene Wenger is at fault for this. One example, United need to win a game and they throw on strikers like Welbeck/Hernandez/Berbatov, City throw on Balotelli/Dzeko, Chelsea, Drogba/Torres, even Spurs have Defoe/Saha. Who do we the Arsenal have? Chamakh & Park and even those two are never introduced. Says a lot. Arteta got injured(and we’ve picked 2 points out of 9) also, we can see how Song is poor defensively. A couple of assists don’t make you a great DM.

NEW NUMBER TWO……..
Pat Rice will step down end of season and despite the options available to the club, they decided to pick from within and Steve Bould the reserve team coach will be Wenger’s no 2.

Will he be like Pat Rice and just let Wenger do his thing or will he be exactly what we need in the backroom, someone that can challenge Wenger and point out his flaws. He was a former defender, will he help improve our defense? I hope so. But then again, Pat Rice too was a defender.

NEW HOME KIT…….
I’d like to start of by saying I don’t like this kit, they tried to do too much and involved all the colors on the badge. The blue and white hoops by the sleeve don’t work for me. Let’s hope the away kit is better. Have a look below.

And Finally……..

A lot has to happen behind the scenes at Arsenal come summer and buying two-three players will not be enough. We have way too many useless and detrimental players at the club. Ship them out and spend some f*cking money. City are about to win the league by doing that and yet they can’t beat us on a normal day, imagine if we had a better squad.

The jury has to be out on Wenger, he’s a failure and he has failed once again, don’t tell me how he’s done great because he put us in this mess and at the end of the day, he’ll pocket a fat cheque, we’ll sell our best players and replace them with kids/useless ones.

There’s a lot that needs to happen and I pray it happens first, but most importantly a win at West Brom would allow us know what direction we’re going in. Enjoy.

Arsenal Escape Norwich Fiasco | Bould To Be Wenger’s No 2 | New Kit Launched

Morning to you all from wherever you are, first off I’d like to apologize for not providing any post match reports or player ratings for the Norwich game for the obvious reasons. Reasons such as how inept we are as a team and how we lack ambition and how the team never ends the season well despite this being our easiest run in in years. Please don’t say we we denied penalties, we were awful, the midfield non existent and Vermaelen, Gibbs & Szczesny were all piss poor. BUT

For whatever reason, Lady Luck smiled on us the following day as our rivals for the 3rd spot both dropped points meaning our destiny is back in our own hands and we must play the game of our lives on the final day of the season and get the 3 points. As someone said, he’ll get Ian Wright & Tony Adams to deliver team talk before the game & at half time.

We’ll come back to how our team is a very poor one and how no one else but Arsene Wenger is at fault for this. One example, United need to win a game and they throw on strikers like Welbeck/Hernandez/Berbatov, City throw on Balotelli/Dzeko, Chelsea, Drogba/Torres, even Spurs have Defoe/Saha. Who do we the Arsenal have? Chamakh & Park and even those two are never introduced. Says a lot. Arteta got injured(and we’ve picked 2 points out of 9) also, we can see how Song is poor defensively. A couple of assists don’t make you a great DM.

NEW NUMBER TWO……..
Pat Rice will step down end of season and despite the options available to the club, they decided to pick from within and Steve Bould the reserve team coach will be Wenger’s no 2.

Will he be like Pat Rice and just let Wenger do his thing or will he be exactly what we need in the backroom, someone that can challenge Wenger and point out his flaws. He was a former defender, will he help improve our defense? I hope so. But then again, Pat Rice too was a defender.

NEW HOME KIT…….
I’d like to start of by saying I don’t like this kit, they tried to do too much and involved all the colors on the badge. The blue and white hoops by the sleeve don’t work for me. Let’s hope the away kit is better. Have a look below.

And Finally……..

A lot has to happen behind the scenes at Arsenal come summer and buying two-three players will not be enough. We have way too many useless and detrimental players at the club. Ship them out and spend some f*cking money. City are about to win the league by doing that and yet they can’t beat us on a normal day, imagine if we had a better squad.

The jury has to be out on Wenger, he’s a failure and he has failed once again, don’t tell me how he’s done great because he put us in this mess and at the end of the day, he’ll pocket a fat cheque, we’ll sell our best players and replace them with kids/useless ones.

There’s a lot that needs to happen and I pray it happens first, but most importantly a win at West Brom would allow us know what direction we’re going in. Enjoy.

Positive Injury News + Thoughts on Wigan loss and PFA Nominations.


Morning to you. Feels worse than a hangover this no thanks to the loss coupled with the news on Jack Wilshere.

I’d say it’s a good thing this is just coming up otherwise it would have been a real mess of a post.

Match Report
Wigan Athletic had two goals in just over a minute very early in the first half to thank for a memorable 2-1 win at the Emirates.

It which pushes them five points clear of the relegation zone while at the upper end, allows for the Sillywhites and Newcastle as well as Chelski to close up on us in the race for Champions League places.

Franco di Santo helped his former club’s cause, eventually getting the ball in the net after a precise Wigan break from a poor corner at the other end.

We hadn’t recovered from going behind when Victor Moses made light work of Sagna and his deflected cross to the box was pounced on by Jordi Gomez who made it to the ball just before Szczesny to poke home a second.

Both goals came just as Mikel Arteta was being treated on the sidelines so the sight of Aaron Ramsey replacing him soon after.

This leaves us sweating over how bad the Spaniard’s ankle injury is with resurgent Chelsea coming up for us in Saturday’s early kick-off.

Thomas Vermaelen did pull one back after 21 minutes with a good header off Tomas Rosicky’s cross and you just felt then that sure, we still got this! No we don’t got this (bear with my ebonics) as Arteta’s calming chi was sorely missed by Song, left Ramsey exposed per se and rendered our wingers wingless, Walcott especially.

Walcott was on the field? Apocalyptic! Sagna could’ve done much better, Santos missed a good scoring chance in the second half, Gervinho brought nothing after replacing Benayoun, so too the Ox when he came on for Djourou.

Then Arsène Wenger made some noise about the impressive Ali Al Habsi’s time wasting on the night. Well, we’d be elated to see Szczesny do same for us with a similar score at a place such as the Nou Camp or Old Trafford… I’m just saying.

Player Ratings
Szczesny6

Sagna5

Djourou7
He has deputised pretty well for Koscielny, just unfortunate to be on the losing side tonight.

Vermaelen7.5
Another goal and he’s certain to end the season as the league’s top scoring defender, well ahead of the likes of Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll.

Santos6

ArtetaN/A

Song4

Rosicky6.5

Walcott3
Blimey!

Benayoun6.5
He had two headers well saved by Al-Habsi either side of the goals we conceded. Just shows how differently the night could have turned out for us.

RvP6

Substitutes
Ramsey3
My word…

Gervinho3

Oxlade-Chamberlain5

Summarily, we let ourselves down yet again as we were flat for large periods of the encounter with the exception being early in both halves.

Like at QPR, this is just a blip and there will be no need to raise ‘unnecessary dust’ about this.

Hopefully we’ll respond to this defeat just as well as we did against Man. $hitty and effectively end Chelski’s Champions League ambitions from the league end of the business, we’ll see how they fare against Barcelona either side of their visit to the Ems.

Wilshere out of Euros
And to cap a generally bad day at the office, 20 year old Jack Wilshere tweeted last night after the game that he will miss out the rest of the season and consequently the European Championships to be held at Poland and Ukraine.

“My ankle is good, I just have a few niggles and having been out so long I will not be fit enough for the Euros!” tweeted Wilshere who was civil in his frustration in a previous tweet that read

“Gutted, sad, devastated..its been a test mentally for me this season and it will continue to be tough until I am back out on the pitch.. “.

This was soon after le boss made known at the post match what we all along have feared for the lad.

“Jack will not play again this season and he will not go to the Euros, that is for sure.” said Wenger.

The manager went further to say “He is not ready to practise today or next week. He is devastated and you can understand that. What kept him going was that he still felt that, if it was not with us, he would have a good chance to go to the Euros but that is over now.”

Wenger however reckons Wilshere could make the Team GB squad to the Olympics later this year though he would much prefer that Stuart Pearce doesn’t invite Wilshere for that, to avoid a recurrence of what has been a mentally challenging year for the midfielder.

Here’s wishing Wilshere good and timely recovery from this.

The news on Arteta is not too good either. Wenger had this to say:

“It is an ankle problem…but it doesn’t look a little ankle sprain. It is a serious one.”

The Spaniard faces up to 3 months on the sidelines if our worst fears are confirmed. He was seen leaving the game in crutches, with his right foot in a protective mask.

If it’s any consolation, it comes late in the season. There are only 4 games left and surely we can keep our place in the top 3 in his absence.

There is some good news on the injury front for us though, with Francis Coquelin due back in training this week, while Per Mertesacker will fly back from Germany in the next two weeks, having travelled to his homeland for surgery and rehabilitation on his left ankle.

A decision is also expected this week on Abou Diaby, who has been building his fitness up in training, and is in contention to be in the squad for Saturday’s clash with Chelsea. Surely he can do better than Ramsey who has been unconvincing of late.

RvP nominated for Player of the Year
Captain Vantastic has been nominated alongside five others for the PFA Player of the Year award. Van Persie also is firm favourite to get the award ahead of Wayne Rooney, Sergio Agüero, Joe Hart, David Silva and I’m sorry… Scott Parker?

Why not just put Nicklas Bendtner in it then? I can feel the Dane being gutted by this ‘gesture’.

Agüero meanwhile was nominated also for the PFA Young Player of the Year seeing as he is still of age as the case here is. Our own Oxlade-Chamberlain made the shortlist as well along with Wale’s Bale, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck and Kyle Walker.

Apologies for the long post but last night’s victory left a sour taste in our mouths. What went wrong? Even Arsene doesn’t seem to have answers which is very unusual. Was it physical fatigue? Mental stress? Or just overconfidence?

Do share your thoughts with me in the comments.

Remember to follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Have a pleasant day nonetheless!

3 Goals, 3 Points Clear in 3rd Place : Talking Points.

A wonderful morning it is for everyone connected to The Arsenal. The cloud of negativity that hung over the club since the start of the season seems to have vanished completely.

Yesterday’s convincing win against Aston Villa was our 7th on the trot in the League. The last time we managed this was when we were winning trophies at will. That gives you an idea of how long it’s been.

Granted, Villa were missing Bent and Dunne, arguably their best two players, but the manner in which we went about yesterday’s operation was emphatic to say the least.

I won’t bore you with a match report as I’m not really good at those and I’m sure you must have read it somewhere, if you didn’t see the game that is. So let’s look at the talking points.

Major positive for me was Theo Walcott. He gave a mature performance, was a nuisance and posed a constant threat. His goal was a joy to watch.

A couple of minutes earlier, Song gave him a similar ball, his control was on point but the ball drifted away.

On the second attempt though, he controlled perfectly, dropped his shoulder and showed good composure to beat Shay Given at his near post. His celebration showed what the goal meant to him.

Another positive was the defensive performance. Koscielny missed out through a minor injury and Djourou came on in his place. People wrote him off before he kicked a ball, and that’s sad to see.

Maybe he hasn’t been exactly great in his last few games but this is the same Djourou who was outstanding in 35 odd games for us last season.

Our capitulation against Newcastle last season began when he went off injured. So it was good to see him put in a great shift yesterday.

He, along with the 3 other men in defence did well. We kept a clean sheet at home, our first in the League in 2012.

I was going to single out Arteta for praise, but that wouldn’t be fair. So let’s just commend our midfield trio for yet another virtuoso performance.

Song got another beautiful assist, Rosicky continued his resurgence, Arteta got a bullet of a goal. Complete midfield performance.

Andre Santos returned to the team yesterday, Wilshere and Coquelin are not far off. Our injured players are returning at the perfect and we couldn’t be luckier.

Left to me, I wouldn’t bring Wilshere back for this season; except of course one of Song, Arteta, Rosicky picked up a serious injury.

Let him rest for Euro 2012, have a good tournament and come raring for next term.

No negatives yesterday, Koscielny had tendinitis and he should be fine. RVP didn’t get a goal for the 4th consecutive half. Worrying times. Nice to see the other players delivery the goods though.

All in all, it was a “dynamic” performance, one we needed. One made even sweeter by the failings of our closest rivals.

Spuds and Chelski played a boring goalless draw earlier. So the win saw us go 3 points clear, and with a higher goals difference.

I’d love to gloat and say we are back, but if this season has taught us anything,it is that things can change very quickly.

Have a good day wherever you read this from. Enjoy the win and share in the positivity. QPR up next, another 3 points surely?

February Curse Strikes Again : Race For 4th Place Starts Now

Tried to put a little spin on the headline so as not to appear overly gloomy but who am I kidding right? Going by history and the past 4 years, this month marks the beginning of the end for us. Our february form? Drawn one, won two and lost two. The two we lost came back to back.

Wenger shuffled his pack, brought in Gervinho, Coquelin & AOC for Koscielny, Gibbs and Walcott. And surprise surprise, Coq gets injured less than 20mins into the game, surely now an exorcism is needed for that left back position.

Sunderland started the game better than we did and wanted it more and it showed, we were again sloppy with our passes and not being direct enough. Our first chance came after sunderland had 3 already, RVP slipped a pass for Gervinho whose shot had to be saved & the resulting corner wasted.

The sunderland goal came in typical fashion, a set piece wasn’t cleared well and Richardson arrowed in a shot via a Squillaci deflection. 1-0 , nothing to worry about, we can do it. We did it here last week.

No repeat of such must have been O’neill’s halftime team talk because Sunderland left off where they finished the half, outplaying us, winning every 50:50 challenge and it didn’t take long for the second goal. Oxo lost the ball & chased after his attacker, Larsson shot the ball against the post, it hit Oxo and went back into the net. There was still time left for Sessegnon to pull out the party tricks on our confused & utterly shit backline. 2-0. Out of the FA Cup & out of the champions league.

REACTION……

Arsene Wenger is the chief culprit for this decline that happens every year, our squad is loaded with very poor players who know nothing about giving their all for the club while the decent ones like Ramsey & Walcott are not being coached well. They continue to churn out pathetic performances and no one is doing anything about it.

All this could have been avoided, he had the summer and january to rectify all but he chose against it. He said you can’t lose Nasri & Cesc and convince people that you’re a serious contender and what happened not only did he lose them, he failed to replace them.

Wenger’s failings are well documented, handing out large contracts to useless players, banking on average ones to rescue us when times are hard and failing to make any sense or headway in the transfer market. Our first choice left back can’t play back to back games and yet he’s first choice, Ramsey has been poor but can’t be benched because those behind him are worse off. Who’s fault? And please don’t blame injuries.

Part of his failings is the lack of a plan B and how poor the plan A we have is. Yesterday he could have gone with 4-4-2 and used players that haven’t seen game time in a while, the likes of Arshavin, Benayoun, Oxlade but he went with a fatigued squad to play a team that had the week off and expected to get a result.

This is the worst Arsenal as a club has been in a long time. Seven years as head in any occupation without results will get you the boot, as Fabregas said last year, Wenger would have been fired if he was at another club(league). Wenger’s position has to be reviewed come end of season.

Either he’s told to move on seeing as he can’t motivate his team anymore or move upstairs into the board or move to another club(afterall PSG & Madrid still want him). Its only a matter of time before Red & White Holdings make a statement with all the shares acquisition they’ve been doing and expect a turbulent summer especially if we don’t make champions league. I for one want the entire board gone especially that moron Gazidis & Kroenke, usher Usmanov in and watch changes happen.

No one man is bigger than any club irrespective of his achievements and its time to go for Arsene. Quality players and an owner that’s interested in the club and is actually a fan not one that’s a collector of clubs(franchises). Get rid of Squillaci, Djourou, Rosicky, Arshavin, Chamakh, Park and buy M’vila, Hazard, Gotze and Edison Cavani ( :| ) . Its not impossible, if wenger had acted, 2 of the four I just mentioned should be at our club already.

We’re still a top club and can still attract quality players, we just need an overhaul of personnel and ideas on ground already. Let’s know how you feel in the comments.

Something worse than the Swansea loss.

This is not a rant, just the result of a series of calculated thoughts!

I was sat in my living room as early as 3:00 p.m (believe me that’s early in my books), waiting for the game, waiting for my darling Arsenal to put little Swansea to the sword.

They didn’t disappoint at first, RVP got a well-taken goal as early as the 5th minute, and my mind was set on a big win, the type we had at Wigan.

For God knows how, Swansea found a way back into the game, and won a penalty (maybe it wasn’t a penalty), to draw level. Terrible defending from Arsenal then gave them the lead.

We leveled matters through Theo Walcott and amazingly, we gifted them another goal even before I was done “processing” our equalizer. We couldn’t fashion a way back into the game and we were beaten, fairly.

A few individual performances spring to mind. Miquel shouldn’t have been playing that game had we brought in a left back. Ramsey was not up for it and Mert4 made a bad decision for the winner. Bar a well-taken goal, Walcott didn’t do a thing right, Szczesny is beginning to falter and we missed Arteta really badly.

Now to what really bothers me; there I was a few minutes after the game, feeling normal. I mean we just lost to Swansea after the game and I shouldn’t feel normal, I should be livid!

But for some reason, I wasn’t! I logged into my twitter feed and I was greeted with varying reactions to the loss. While some were venting their anger, others were searching for positives in what was an abysmal performance.

We have the worst away record for goals conceded and it is as though we need to score two goals to draw games away from home!

We were beaten at our passing game, and that’s quite worrying. Swansea seemed to want it more and that’s pretty disturbing.

I think I was somewhere in the middle of those two groups; and with time I concluded that the reason I felt that way is because I was gradually becoming used to Arsenal screwing up things.

You may have heard this before but I just wish to reiterate that Arsenal finishing in the top 4 this season will be Wenger’s best achievement to date. That in itself in enough to bring tears to anyone’s eyes.

We cannot maintain the pressure that accompanies a run of good form without messing it up. Look at this, we had a very poor start, recovered well, but the moment people started taking us seriously, we began to falter.

Injuries? Look at Man United and get back to me. I think it’s something to do with the mindset of the players, they are just not up for it, even Cesc said it!

They don’t see themselves as a team capable of winning things, and if anything that’s the major positive I see from Henry’s return to the club.

Arsenal players are like that kid in high school, who knows the pass mark is 40%, but he needs to study hard for 85% to get an A+. How well do you think he’ll perform? My guess is he’ll party hard and target 50% which in all fairness is a pass grade, and move onto the next one.

For all the talk about contending for the title, I just think they do not believe it. They just look to be in the top four every year, get into the Champions League and “do well” in the cup competitions.

Yesterday’s loss is just another on a long list of unbelievably poor results, and what’s worse is that us fans are settling for it.

Slowly, the same Arsenal fans that celebrated titles a few seasons ago are the same ones “celebrating” a Champions League qualification. Yes, that’s how bad we have become.

The club posts profits year in year out and neglects what really matters, the football. If you told me (with concrete evidence) Arsenal have no money to spend, maybe I wouldn’t have written this post. But apparently there’s some money to spend, we just don’t think it’s ‘necessary’.

“I think it will be stupid to drop points simply because we don’t have full-backs.” – Wenger, two weeks ago.

The talk of sacking Wenger now doesn’t even begin to arise. He gave a reasonable argument for why he’d rather wait for the injured players to return than bring in new faces.

Whether or not this loss will change Arsene’s stance on winter transfers will be revealed in the coming days.

That’s all I can take for today. Apologies for an unusually long post, I only felt the need to share everything I was thinking with you. Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.

Keep the faith wherever this post meets you!

Cheers!

FairyTale Return As Henry Scores On Second Debut To Send Arsenal Through | Coquelin Injured

Wearing the number 12 jersey, 12 minutes before the end of his second debut, he scores his 12th goal against Leeds in the year 2012, ladies and gentlemen, Thierry Henry, is back. As someone said, “The first player to score inside the Emirates while he’s celebrating outside it(in reference to his statue)”

With all the media hysteria of Henry’s homecoming surrounding the game, one would forgive Leeds for feeling hard done by as the fixture was supposed to be about us & them and a possible cupset, and with the way they started out you could see they didn’t come to be rolled over.

Mixing youth and experience, Wenger went for a formation of Szczesny-Coquelin-Miquel-Squillaci-Koscielny-Song-Arteta-Ramsey-Arshavin-AOC-Chamakh. The first half was the closest you’ll get to a bore fest as chances were few and far between both teams, Ramsey and Arshavin at the heart of most of the attacking which just lacked the bite typified by an Arsenal team.

AOC was having a quiet game just like the Leeds attack which found Song & Arteta too much to handle in front of the defense. After just 20minutes, Coquelin picked up an injury and had to be substituted for Yennaris. The first half ended like it started with zero shots on target for both teams.

Second Half
Resisting the urge to make changes, the same team resurfaced and started to play like they really wanted it, AOC took it on himself and collected a pass on the left and ran at the defense before unleashing a stinging drive. That wasn’t the end, he went on another mazy run down the other end but missed the target.

Ramsey and Arteta kept feeding the Ox with passes as Chamakh continued to be pretty much inactive in the game and this time, the young englishman hit another rasping drive which was turned round the post for a corner.

AW had seen enough and called on club legend(former number 14) and current number 14(Walcott) to replace Oxo & Chamakh(I wanted Ramsey & Arshavin to go off as they had been average). In less than 10 seconds Henry had touched the ball but he was offside. But not to worry, the script had been written to perfection, Song slipped him a delightful pass, he took one touch, dropped his shoulder & bent it calmly past the goalkeeper… Vintage Henry, the celebration that ensued said it all, running and shouting and beating his chest before going to embrace AW & celebrate with the lads.

Leeds threatened to score but Chesney pulled off a great save to ensure no other mortal graced the same scoresheet as Henry. In what proved to be a poor performance, no one would remember as Henry grabbed the spotlight as he had done all week. I say let’s sign him till the end of the season.

We’ll leave the review of the poor performance for another time but credit to Yennaris who came on for Coquelin and showed pace, heart & desire, would get a run in the first team till Sagna is fit.

Well there you have it, we face Aston Villa in a couple of weeks at the grove, but before then, its Swansea on sunday. Do have a great day, see you in the comments. Cheers

Follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs

Frimpong, AOC & Coquelin Shine As Arsenal Bow Out To Man Shitty + Player Ratings : Carling Cup Review

    You can argue that we lost the easiest trophy to win, but if you look at the teams in it, it doesn’t seem easy to win as usually

These were the words (well part of) of AW after we lost. He’s quite right especially as it was a £30M squad against a squad totalling over £190M & especially as we bossed the game for the entirety but it just goes to show that there is no quality(or even decent) back up for RVP as his two deputies on show yesterday were not up to it.

Mixing experience and youth, AW sent out a line up of Fabianksi-Djourou-Squillaci-Koscielny-Miquel-Benayoun-Coquelin-AOC-Park-Chamakh and as always we set the tone of the game. Chances were far & few between in the opening minutes with the most notable thing the booing and taunts directed at Cashmir Na$ri and to the delight of the crowd, he got Frimponged, he was so poor he called off to the bench to be taken off but was ignored.

The midfield trio of Coquelin-Frimpong-AOC were brilliant and made their cases for the first team with a display well above their ages considering the opposition. AOC sent over a cross for Park who taught he had scored but a brilliant save from the City GK prevented a goal. All this while, Chamakh’s only contribution was in winning aerial duels. AOC was to later force another smart save with a rasping drive from outside the box. Arsenal well on top and City feeding off scraps.

As the tandem of Coquelin-Frimpong continued to work hard and boss the midfield that had Nasri-De Jong-Barry repeatedly, not to forget Miquel who pocketed Johnson throughout the game, the Ox was having a fantastic time outwide that Mancini had to ruthlessly substitute Kolarov at the 32minute mark. The half ended goalless.

Second half started as the first ended with us truly on top but lacking creativity in the final third. Coquelin and Frimpong(notice I keep mentioning them) continued to delight the crowd with their energy, work rate & passing while Kolo Toure at the end continued to frustrate Park & Chamakh. It wasn’t long as AW took off the Korean for Gervinho and the Ivorian went straight into action, twisting and turning and dealing with Onuaha but Kolo Toure was having none of it. At our end, Kozzer too was having his own fun, dealing with the threat of Dzeko and Aguero easily(has to say he’s currently in the top 5 defenders in the league this season).

Like they say if you don’t take your chances, your opponent might just kill you off if they have one and so they did. We won a corner of Toure, AOC took it but naivety killed the team as everyone went up and left only Djourou, the ball broke, Dzeko chased after it and released a long pass for Johnson, Frimpong chased after but no one tracked the run of Aguero who got the ball from Johnson and finished into the bottom corner. Undeserved. Against the run of play. It was to end like that.

Despite us going out of the competition at this stage, the following positives can be taken from the game:

    * Frimpong & Coquelin are more than alright, the loan spell for Francis has done his world a lot of good and even though there are talks for Frimmers to go on loan, he bellied his age with the performance he gave by pocketing Nasri & bossing De Jong.
    *Koscielny is world class. If you disagree then you’re just plain stupid. Against Dzeko and Aguero he had an excellent game and intercepted passes, won tackles and broke down attacks. Surely must become Vermaelen’s partner.
    *AOC is more than just a kid. He’s a man. He’s been slowly integrated into the first team which must change. Look at Phil Jones of Man Utd for example. The way AOC played yesterday was a breath of fresh air and surely has to be ahead of Arshavin now.

In conclusion, the game yesterday goes to show how the lack of quality strikers can lose/win you a game. City were poor but had Aguero & Dzeko on the pitch when they scored(both involved in the goal), we had Chamakh. That says it all, hopefully Wenger is convinced enough now not to ever play Chamakh & sell him off in January. Reus & Podolski should be bought, no more bargain buys, with £55M to spare, surely we can get quality.

Fabianski- 6

Djourou 7

Squillaci 7

Koscielny8

Miquel7

Coquelin8

Frimpong8

AOC8

Benayoun7

Park5

Chamakh3

SUBSTITUTES

Gervinho6

Man Of the Match – Hard to pick so I’ll just give it to Frimpong & Coquelin as they were more than excellent. Honorable mentions to Kozzer & AOC

From wherever you are, have a great day and try not to think about it too much.

Escobar

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Say Another Word.... I Dare You

Say Another Word…. I Dare You

DEENCH!

DEENCH!

Arsenal show “exceptional spirit” and lack of quality.

I partied all through last night but I can assure you that the title of this post is not alcohol-induced.

Yesterday’s draw against Fulham was more of one point gained than two points lost. Why jump the gun though? Allow me to take you through how events unfolded.

Arsene made two changes to the team that beat Dortmund at the Emirates, Djourou and Arshavin coming in for Koscielny and Gervinho. I’m sure we can now understand why Arshavin has not played a lot of games this season.

Fulham defended well from the start of the game. Senderos stuck to RVP and rarely gave him any sniff on goal. We had to use the wings and while Walcott was having a good game, Arshavin struggled.

We had a couple of good chances early in the game, both of which fell to Ramsey, another player who’s had better games. He forced a wonderful save from Schwarzer for the first but couldn’t hit the target for the second.

That was as close as we came in the first half. We were a tad slow and struggled to get into rhythm.

The half time break did not change much, Fulham defended, we could not break them down. We enjoyed possession though and looked more likely to go ahead than behind. Van Persie even had a shot cleared off the line by a defender!

Football is one helluva crazy game though. Danny Murphy’s delightful chip found Arne Riise in our box, and as he struggled to control the ball, Vermaelen’s interception ended at the back of our net!

We were now staring at a loss and needed something special on a day we have been quite flat. A sense of urgency returned to the game. We pushed players forward and Djourou almost scored from a corner only to be thwarted by Schwarzer.

Diaby, Gervinho, Chamakh came on for Ramsey, Mertesacker and Arshavin. And with just over ten minutes left, Walcott whipped in ANOTHER wonderful cross. It met the head of Vermaelen who took it past the goalkeeper.

We were back level, he had atoned for his mistake at the other end. I still ask myself how he got into that position.

The Arsenal players gave one final push for all 3 points, but it was not to be. One point was all we would get. In his post match interview, Arsene reckoned we showed “exceptional spirit” and I totally agree with him.

This was a game a “normal” team would have lost, but we dug deep and refused to accept defeat. And on a day when we faced a team that defended so deep, we could really do with Gervinho’s trickery and unpredictability from the start.

Arshavin looked really out of sorts, hardly did anything right. Ramsey kept going for difficult options and should have buried at least one of those chances. Diaby gave us a new dimension, good to have him back.

Is it a mere coincidence that the one game in which we did not start our first choice front three is the one we struggled to get a goal? It makes me wonder how we will cope when Gervinho leaves for the AFCON in January.

Chamakh also came on yesterday and for the umpteenth time, he did nothing of note! What happens if RVP isn’t also available in January? We’ll be stuck with a front three that comprises Walcott, Chamakh and Arshavin.

In all, it was not the best of performances but at least we still have our unbeaten run going. Man City visit on Tuesday and we will need to rotate. Don’t let me get ahead of myself again, a preview to that game will be up tomorrow.

Have a great Sunday wherever you read this from.

Wenger Says Yes To Gotze. Song Steals The Show as god RVP Shoots Down BVB.

Group winners with one game to spare, who would have thought that was possible seeing as we were ‘in crisis’ at the beginning of the season and the stalemate against Marseille threatened another episode of last season’s drama where we had to qualify as runners up on the last day.

No such thing this time as Robin Van Persie as always came to the rescue infront of the Emirates faithful which had gunners legend Henry & tennis legend Roger Federer amongst them, but despite bagging both goals, Alex Song was the obvious man of the match.

Arsene named the same squad for the first time in almost a year but had Diaby back in the team(on the bench) as the only plus. The game itself was a lull at the beginning and the earliest chances fell to the away team but they were tame chances which Chezzer dealt with very well. At the other end, Weidenfeller had to be alert to claim a wicked cross from Walcott which was aimed at RVP.

Wunderkid & reported Arsenal target was having an off game as he carried an injury along but a collision with Vermaelen from Lars Bender saw the latter go off with a broken jaw. He got Verminated if you ask me. Gotze was to follow suit almost immediately as he couldn’t continue. All this in the first half alone. You’d think we would have it easy but Dortmund continued to frustrate and it ended level going into the break.

Second Half

It started way better than the first ended and Gervinho continued to cause chaos with his speed and dribbling but no end product. The first goal came and my dear was it a joy to watch, receiving a pass from Ramsey, Alex Song took the ball to the by line, cut in between two markers, faced with three more, with a fast feet move, bamboozled them before sending a cross for RVP who nodded home gladly.

For a second the whole stadium wondered if ‘Black Messi’ was the one who just pulled off that magnificent move. Gervinho was next to follow, sent through on goal with just the goalkeeper by Ramsey, he fluffed his lines and Hummels got back in time to clear the danger. For all his hardwork and ease at going past players, Gervinho finishes worse than a girl. The strikers in the Arsenal ladies team finish better.

The second goal which was inevitable, came through the unlikeliest of routines. Arteta fashioned a near-post corner for TV5 to flick into RVP’s path. Robin was never going to miss from there. 2 nil and we were cruising! We were 2 goals ahead and definitely through to the next stage.

An almost perfect night, which would have been perfect had Song and Djourou not contrived to gift the visitors a goal. Song tried to waste time on the ball, but he should have been doing that at the opposite end of the pitch, not so close to his goalkeeper. The ball was stolen from him as he tried to pass to Djourou, a cross was sent into the area and somehow we conceded. Vermaelen’s reaction to the goal tells a story!

Notwithstanding, we got 3 points, top the group and get to avoid the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona. Our last group game away to Olympiakos is a mere formality now and it gives us an opportunity to rotate. Considering how we got into the group stages in the first place, this feels too good to be true!

After giving Dortmund the respect of not unsettling their star player before a game between both sides, Arsene confirmed the club’s interest in Mario Gotze. In his post match interview, Le Boss asserted his eagerness to bring the little magician to North London. Said He,

“For me, Mario Gotze is a player for the future, he is very talented, has a great attitude. It’s no surprise to me that all big European clubs show interest in him, as we do also.”

It remains to be seen if he does not end up on the list of “players we almost signed”.

That’s all from me today, we have weathered the storm and are finally on our way back. There is still a lot of room for improvement though. If you take into account that Man United, Chelsea and City still have to play the last game to ensure qualification, it’s really not a bad time to be a gooner.

We play Fulham on Saturday, it wouldn’t be selfish to ask for more of the same, would it? And this means 3 points, good football and more goals for the Dutch master!

Have a wonderful day wherever this post meets you! Do leave us with your thoughts and comments!

Cheers!

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